Post By: Steve Graef, PhD | Tuesday, March 10, 2020


People sometimes refer to life being a game.I don't disagree.Life is like a sporting game, a video game, and even casino games. There are some rules you have to abide by, stages through which you progress, luck that can be on your side or seemingly against you, and there are often obstacles to be navigated and problems to be solved.As such, if you want to “win” at this game, you better have some strategies in place.In today's article I want to offer a problem solving strategy that follows the acronym, D.I.C.E….let's roll.

Diagnose the problem.In order to solve a problem, you need to first know what the problem is. Assess and be clear about the obstacle that is in front of you.That clarity is going to make it much easier to overcome in the future.Consider the difference between “something is wrong with my car” verse “I have a flat tire.” From a problem diagnosis perspective, the flat tire diagnosis makes it so much more likely a resolution can be identified.You have a problem?First, know what it is.

Investigate options. After you have identified the problem, now is the opportunity to go buck wild with possible solutions. During this stage there may be some rules you have to abide by.A budget you can't go over.Legal or ethical concerns.Time constraints.This is OK, however you want to be careful about pre-conceived limitations getting in the way of your investigation.Instead, you may be able to flex your innovative or creative muscles.You can think outside the box.Go crazy.During this stage there is no right and no wrong, there are just ideas.Here you can put all your cards out on the table.

Choose the best one.Now that you have a whole bunch of ideas in front of you, you can go through a process of pros and cons.You can place your rules onto them and consider which is going to be the best decision.Keep in mind sometimes there isn't a perfect solution.Perhaps you're choosing between multiple rights.Or you're trying to identifying the best wrong or least damaging. Go ahead and take your pick.

Enact and Evaluate.Finally, it is time to enact your decision.Keep in mind a decision isn't the right decision unless you make it the right decision.Putting the decision into action and following through in an appropriate way is what leads to resolution.Here you may identify a plan of attack, collect additional resources, etc.This is where the rubber meets the road.After implementation you will also have the opportunity to evaluate your decision.Did what you put in place work?Did it lead to a resolution? Put your idea into action and see how it does.

Conclusion. This problem solving strategy probably seems super elementary.However, sometimes the most effective tactics are also the simplest and easiest to remember.Basic strategies done well and consistently can win at a lot of games and I'm amazed at how often people freeze when they encounter problems or crumble in the face of adversity.No more I say.Don't leave resolutions to chance any longer.Instead, the next time you encounter an obstacle in the way of your path, take a deep breath and roll the D.I.C.E.